Starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, the ascetic director’s 5th film in about 30 years has drawn a variety of reactions from festival goers–the only thing everyone seems able to agree on is that it draws distinct parallels with Kubrick’s “2001.”
Malick is known for being incredibly shy, and did not show up for the presentation of the award. Instead, his producers accepted it for him. The film will open in limited release in the US this Friday, the 27th.
Jury president Robert De Niro said of Malick’s long-awaited film, “Most of us felt very clearly that it was the movie — the size, the importance, the tension, whatever you want to call it — that seemed to fit the Palme d’Or,” though he also emphasized that the jury was equally impressed with many other films screened at the festival this year.
However, “Melancholia’s” star, Kirsten Dunst, was honored with the Best Actress accolade, and in her acceptance speech she specifically thanked Von Trier himself for helping her to be “…so brave and…so free” in her performance. Audiences can judge for themselves when the film is released in the US on November 4th.
Best Director went to another Danish director, Nicolas Winding Refn, for his latest film “Drive,” starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. The film is an action thriller set in Los Angeles, and quite a departure from Refn’s last film, “Valhalla Rising” (reviewed here!) which was an almost non-verbal Viking epic set almost a thousand years ago. Refn reportedly described Gosling as “my favorite alter ego.” “Drive” will be released in the US on September 16th.
Other winners included the Dardenne brothers, who have won an award with every film they’ve ever taken to Cannes, and American Jeff Nichols, whose new film “Take Shelter” won in two different categories (it will be released in the US on October 7th).
For a full list of winners and more inside dirt, see Sunday’s Variety roundup of all the festival awards. Apparently, Robert De Niro spoke French and accidentally referred to other members of the jury as “champignons” (French for “mushrooms”) instead of “champions.” Who else wishes they could have attended?!